“This bumblebee species now has a reduced overall range,” says Assistant Professor Sheila Colla. “It used to stretch from Windsor to Toronto, and all the way to Ottawa and into the Quebec area, but it is now only found in some core areas and has experienced a 37 percent decrease in overall range,” the York University media release relates.
"The researchers found that the American Bumblebee’s area of occurrence has decreased by about 70 percent and its relative abundance fell by 89 percent from 2007-2016 compared to 1907-2006," the statement continues.
TL;DR The American bumblebee is now "facing imminent extinction from Canada, considered the highest and most at-risk classification before extinction."
"Many bumblebee species are rapidly declining across North America, but are important pollinators needed to grow Canada’s crops including apples, tomatoes, blueberries and legumes, as well as countless types of trees, shrubs, and wildflowers."
Indeed, the disappearance of bee species across North America could eventually jeopardize algricultural and horticultural production, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
The York University release also states that there is little exisiting official protection for the species of bee.
"This species is at risk of extinction and it's currently not protected in any way despite the drastic decline,” says Colla.
It will take a concerted effort by governments local and national to promote sustainable practices that could prevent extinction.
"Now that we have assessed the extent of the decline and located where the remaining populations are, we can look more closely at threats and habitat requirements to design an effective conservation management plan so that this species does not disappear from Canada forever,” continues Colla.
This is sad news nonetheless — especially on Earth Day.
Read the entire report here.